One of the most recog­nis­able voices across the rap land­scape Kota The Friend deliv­ers his highly-anti­cip­ated pro­ject Pro­tea. A blos­som­ing amal­gam­a­tion of eclect­ic, sun-kissed tex­tures, Brook­lyn nat­ive Kota The Friend con­tin­ues to cre­ate genu­inely feel-good music with his latest record Pro­tea; laced with power­ful words of affirm­a­tion that shines a light across the real­it­ies of expres­sion, roman­ti­cism and the won­der of exist­ence. The multi-hyphen­ate artist show­cases his intric­ate and self-assured pen­man­ship while cel­eb­rat­ing the love of his life – his wife. Backed by immense col­lab­or­a­tion from artists fea­tured across their wed­ding playl­ists, Kota’s eth­er­e­al music­al­ity is as beau­ti­ful as it is mean­ing­ful. With bliss­ful sum­mer vibra­tions har­nessed through­out each track, Pro­tea will no doubt con­tin­ue the heat sur­round­ing a true flag­bear­er at the apex of his emo­tion­al and intel­lec­tu­al cap­ab­il­it­ies.

Speak­ing on the record, Kota men­tions: “Pro­tea is like a love let­ter express­ing appre­ci­ation and admir­a­tion for the per­son that stood by me in my darkest hour. The pro­tea is my wife’s favor­ite flower and I wanted to cre­ate a piece of art spe­cific­ally for her that stands the test of time. The artists that are fea­tured on the album are people we listened to a lot when I was driv­ing her to and from work. In that way she helped me cur­ate the album. I want this album to serve as a remind­er to give people that stand by you their flowers. We have to show Appre­ci­ation for the people that love us and uplift us at our most vul­ner­able.”

Set­ting an intim­ate tone from the off-set, the 16-track body of work opens with the jazz-infused “Super 8” ft. fel­low NYC super­star Wolftyla – a vibrant sound­scape that per­fectly encap­su­lates Kota’s warm cadence and Wolftyla’s honey-kissed fal­setto gleam­ing with prom­ise. Har­mon­ising in a field of psy­che­delia, the two plead their lust to a thrill­ing love affair and envi­sion beau­ti­ful set­tings if fate can bring their jour­neys togeth­er.

Man­oeuv­ring through mel­low inter­ludes that tail heart­felt con­ver­sa­tions between Kota and his wife, “The Good” details true love and appre­ci­ation while “The Bad” recon­ciles with the com­plic­ated cross­roads faced in a rela­tion­ship, bal­an­cing the com­plex­it­ies of vul­ner­ab­il­ity before the breezy sum­mer vibra­tions quickly resume across “Bar­celona”. Glid­ing atop mel­low rhythmics and bright-eyed per­cus­sion, Kota deliv­ers an infec­tious hook while revered South Lon­don tal­ent Samm Hen­shaw flexes his vocal range with typ­ic­al fin­esse – a standout col­lab­or­a­tion from two cre­at­ives bridging the gap across inter­na­tion­al bor­ders.

Fur­ther not­ables include “For­get About It” ft. UK musi­cian Zak Abel, “Pro­tea”, “Keep Me Goin” and “Road Rage” ft. Grammy-nom­in­ated vocal­ist Aloe Blacc, clos­ing off the record with high-cal­ibre house tex­tures that blend with dream-like synths and jazzy brass under­tones, cre­at­ing a beau­ti­ful envir­on­ment for Kota to explore his free-flow­ing intro­spec­tion that shines front and centre.

Man­oeuv­ring through the heart of Brook­lyn, NYC, Kota has been sur­roun­ded by vibrant cul­tur­al influ­ences that have assisted his impulse for rich, self-pro­duced sound­scapes and vivid, storytelling lyr­i­cism. A standout instru­ment­al­ist play­ing piano, gui­tar and trum­pet, Kota quickly found suc­cess as an inde­pend­ent artist before receiv­ing break­out status in 2020 for his smash record EVERYTHING. Boast­ing key col­lab­or­a­tions with major US stars incl. Joey Bada$$, Bas and KYLE, Kota entered the BILL­BOARD charts as well as gain­ing crit­ic­al sup­port from the likes of INTER­VIEW MAGAZINE, COM­PLEX, ROLLING STONE and HYPEBEAST – announ­cing an excit­ing new tal­ent break­ing cre­at­ive bound­ar­ies on an inter­na­tion­al level.

Now sit­ting on 700M streams and 2.4M ded­ic­ated monthly listen­ers, Kota The Friend is carving his own lane as a lead­ing voice across the rap scene. With Pro­tea fast approach­ing, 2023 looks set to be anoth­er defin­it­ive moment in his already high-cal­ibre dis­co­graphy.

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.